Advanced Fiber Solutions (www.advancedfibersolutions.com) has begun shipping a fiber-optic bandwidth tester that it classifies as low-cost. The OBW-2 tester has the capability to test legacy fibers and laser-rated fibers to determine their suitability for high-speed networks such as Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and Fibre Channel. The OBW-2 uses a PC to control the instrument and calculate the bandwidth of the fiber, simplifying its operation and reducing its cost to about $12,000, the manufacturer says.
"Until the development of this product, testing bandwidth of multimode fiber required lab instruments costing as much as a half-million dollars," the company said in a release announcing the first shipment of the OBW-2. "The model OBW-2 allows testing 50/125-micron and 62.5/125-micron fibers at frequencies up to 2.5 GHz and lengths up to 10 km at both 850 and 1300 nm, making it appropriate for all current multimode fibers." It can be used to test fibers at manufacture, during cabling, and to determine the effects of termination and splicing on bandwidth, the company says.
Advanced Fiber Solutions also said it soon will publish application notes on results from research conducted during the product's development, including trends for various termination types, concatenation of cables and patch cords, and various launch conditions.